Ending the Nonsense

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Nalates
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Nalates » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:27 pm

On the post merge… not a problem. I think Whilyam is right, standalone.

Whilyam, good logical points. Remember you asked for ‘opinion’ not facts.

That veralun makes consistent language mistakes on the subject word indicates, to me, that he has assigned a different meaning to the word. You are convinced otherwise. Your thinking on why is good enough justification for you.

I’m trying to get across to you that you seem to have become fixed on your perception and that comes across in your writing. That doesn’t mean you are wrong. It does mean you are so convinced about something that is not obvious to us and is so blatantly obvious to you it is beyond your ability to convey the viewpoint in a believable way. It makes it hard to impossible for you to convince others.

You may have already exhausted all the viewpoints we offer you. What you’re convinced of may be fact and truth. It doesn’t matter in the since of: can you be convincing about it. When you ask for opinion it isn’t about being convincing, its asking for ideas and new viewpoints. If you disagree with them, that is ok. It is at that point that your opinion/viewpoint becomes more meaningful, at least to me. Until then your opinion seems in flux, a request for more information, and appears open to change.

My point here is not so much about veralun as it is about what 1) you can do to improve things and 2) what we can do to more easily resolve these issues in a generic way. For your use recognizing the problem with veralun and owning it as your own gives you a chance to change the dynamic in dealing with veralun in some effective way. It is not possible to change another person and that is a frustrating route. Trying to change the environment is less frustrating but it is work. My tactic in that regard is multi-fold, SD&D is one step in a process to learn and make things better.

I suspect veralun does not read that many posts and react to them. I suspect that he reacts to those that have had someone report and complain. I don’t know. MAC_Fife’s post seems to confirm that. I think that would explain some of what we see as inconsistent moderating. He is told something is such and such and doesn’t pick up on the difference. You have to decide how you evaluate that and how it has or hasn’t affected your thinking.

Your point on his ‘don’t discuss here’ is valid but from my perspective not the foundation you are looking for. We jump on him for those posts. I hope he is learning. While it is very good support for your point of view, I’m hoping you realize it is not as convincing to us/me as you.

Practical, unrealistic… I will concede that as a fan you are right. This is the viewpoint thing we’re/I’m try to get across. I’m not sure Cyan would agree and they are the ones deciding on the practical and unrealistic. While I do think I understand your motivation, I support most of what Mac_Fife posted. I believe someone that makes decisions and keeps things moving deserves a large measure of respect and support. I deliberately did not include agreement.

Whether MOUL forum would be better off without his moderation… I’m not convinced. Problem mod? ‘Get rid of them’ is not what I consider a workable general rule/guideline. At this point I see it as a ‘code please’ situation.

I started SD&D because we (community) run into massive perceptual differences and many in the community handle them with a lack of tolerance and resort to immature tactics… not necessary because the people are immature, they just have not grown their debate and discussion skills. Developing ways for people to see their bias and narrow thinking and broaden their thinking and learning new ways to handle problems is the goal. Regardless of one’s ideological position on an issue the tools work for both sides of an issue.

My solution is: if you run into a probable language problem, is to face it head on and work at communicating and understanding.

How would you write a policy that handles the issue you have with veralun? What rules and guidelines would handle a future occurrence of this problem?
Nalates
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Whilyam
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:57 pm

The rule:

Moderators only moderate forums in the language they themselves can show proficiency in (note not necessarily one language or the "native" language).

I asked for opinion, yes. But don't make too much daylight between facts and opinion. Opinions that are worthwhile don't ignore facts (see the love-fest for Dhelayan started by people who have no contact with him beyond the St. Patrick's Day TS server).

Quite simply, I appear fixed in my perception because few people are coming up with an intelligent response. So far the responses have consisted of flailing around calling canon God, saying that discussions are out of place in a forum, and the numerous other immature responses I have heard. I call them immature because they do not show signs of any large amount of thought. They either lie about the facts or willfully ignore present reality or past circumstances. I believe it is long past time this community grows up and stops calling for moral cleansing at the drop of a hat. If it sounds like I'm using straw men, that is all I have seen. Empty heads of straw dreaming of utopia.

Neither I nor a person new to the game have the time or energy to "change the environment." The fact is the environment changed a long time ago and the remaining dinosaurs are taking a long time to die off. We need dependable moderators as the public face of Cyan (the shop window) not an erratic and incomprehensible one. I suspect veralun would be a fine moderator if he remained in the Dutch forums (however I obviously don't speak for Dutch community members who may have just as many complaints as I do). He is not a good moderator in his present position as pretty much the only moderator on the Uru forum.

As a minor aside, Dhelayan and now (apparently) Arctic_Wagon are two prime examples of why I stopped trying to parse words. Dhelayan used the fact that he was Dutch to intentionally misread statements and then sulk to gain sympathy (a tactic similar to Arctic_Wagon's now). I have had plenty of encounters with people who didn't speak English natively (zam and ,I think, D'Lanor being two that are still around). I never had issues with them. I would much rather have zam edit posts than veralun.

Finally, Mac. I have contacted RAWA and Chogon. I contacted RAWA when veralun's absurdity occurred and I got no response, though Tweek has said he is very busy now. I have contacted Chogon and RAWA today asking for them to consider taking veralun off the Englush boards or the moderating team entirely. Veralun is a liability for Cyan because he has a great potential (and indeed appears to have already) to drive people away from the fanbase.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by JWPlatt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:35 am

I'm going to ask that this be shut this down immediately if there are any further posts regarding politics between specific people that read more like gossip and complaint than a constructive discussion of issues. The complaints and demands are more appropriatelly sent to the administrators who actually have the authority to do something about them, which has apparently been done. There is nothing we can do here to settle specific complaints with other organizations. This domain will not be used as a platform to target individuals (or groups).
If you have a complaint or a disagreement, please put it in the form of a respectful, constructive request so that it is clear what you want, and that what you want is not simply to complain, but to contribute with ideas and alternatives.
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=259

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viewtopic.php?f=46&t=261
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:11 am

I was using examples to correct Nalates' assumptions about my perspective. These are examples of one of the issues. Unless you want me to just spout random nonsense with nothing to back it up.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by JWPlatt » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:04 am

I'm tempted to rewrite your post as an example of how to construct an argument or propose a solution in a positive way that offers general and progressive methods of how to deal with a (not the) situation and human behaviors (not names). I learn best from literal examples from which I can form a theory, instead of learning the theory to form the examples, and so do many people. So I appreciate good examples. But one doesn't need names to do that, and it takes time from my day I'd rather let you spend on it. There are situations we can all recognize and sympathize with without calling out people and citing specifics. And I think people naturally sympathize more with folks who are not on the offensive. OpenURU.org feels to me like a professional setting that demands the kind of respect and behavior among peers that you would find at most any company. That's how I approach it - how would I behave in real life around family, friends, in someone else's home, or perhaps in the Cyan World offices, to give a specific scenario, personally standing in front of Rand, Mark and RAWA? Hang around here long enough and I'm sure you'll learn at least a little something. That's an invitation to continue your participation, but it needs work. As an easy start, I'd leave out the colorful adjectives. But I really think you're quite capable on your own of keeping things objective.
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Whilyam
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:24 am

JWPlatt wrote:That's how I approach it - how would I behave in real life around family, friends and perhaps in the Cyan World offices, for a specific scenario, personally standing in front of Rand, Mark and RAWA?
I would tell them that one of their moderators is endangering their company, that they would have fewer headaches if they allowed fans to assist with the OS conversion, and congratulate them for steadying their ship in the middle of this recession. To make those points, however, I would use specific examples. The types of responses the environment their moderator is generating spawns, the strong desire of the coders to help Cyan with any strings attached they'd like, and the areas I've seen Cyan capitalize on. Giving vague examples gets vague results. You didn't get results with the pellet numbers by wasting time crafting ubiquitous examples. You brought around the community's specific anger to get specific results.

I named the post "Ending the Nonsense" for two reasons. One, that's what veralun called dialogue. Two, because the community has tended to tip-toe around these issues. Shying away from any drama which only intensifies that drama when released. That time came to an end a while ago and people are still adjusting (or not) to that reality. The vestiges of that old view is the second "nonsense."

I am glad you aren't rewriting my post, though.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Tweek » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:01 am

2 pages here under the impression that the problem is because English is not his native issue, instead of the fact that the issue is his moderation, so to clear a few things up...

When posts are being deleted (completely) instead of moved to the trash can that isn't about linguistics, when topics are edited removed and the poster is not PM'd (common etiquette in forum moderation), that's not about linguistics, even Dutch members of the forums aren't happy, not about linguistics.

I've been moderating forums for almost as long as I've been floating around the community (12 years). PMing people when you mess with their posts is something that should be done, regardless of whether it is in the forum rules/guidelines or not, it's being polite, and helps not to foster the hostility that people have against the MOUL mods due to the actions of one.
Trash can forums are there so that posts can be moved there for discussion, or for "deletion", by deletion that means kept there as a record in case problems come up, the threads are then there for referencing.

Topics are not black and white, there are greys, this needs to be taken into account when looking at posts instead of knee jerk "OMG CYAN WILL SAY NO" *delete* reactions, how do you know Cyan will say no? How about you ask..

I could go on..and on..and on..but I'll spare you.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Nalates » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:28 am

Thanks for sparing us... :p

Teasing aside, your point on sending a PM is important and I agree. I know that I only sometimes get a PM from MOUL when one of my posts or threads is locked or deleted. I haven't done the numbers but it seems like more than half the time I get a PM, which is not that great. But, I am not always sure I'm the reason the thread is getting locked. So, it might not be appropriate for me to receive one.

I do get responses to PM's I send complaining, not all but most. If the forum is as busy and under staffed as Mac_Fife points out, I would expect that.

Without some way to get real numbers from the MOUL forum I find it hard to make a judgment. If 200 of us have a problem out of 14,000, (1.4%) Cyan's viewpoint could well be it's not a problem. If 2% of the Danish speaking fans have a problem, that still doesn't say much. I consider 20% of the general population out of touch with reality.

I've been ticked off at veralun from time to time. Having seen several people commit liable against veralun over a post removal I was involved in and how I was treated by several people when I started pointing out facts, I learned there were segments of the fan base that one could easily label haters and not be far off. That lead to me to considering how they post, why, what could be done it, and where do I stand in that and what can I do differently. SD&D is part of the process of finding a better way.

Removing a moderator may be necessary from time to time. I consider such an action on its own a bit simplistic because when we get another problem moderator we have to go through another long painful process to remove them. There has to be a better more comprehensive way.

On top of that... It seems easier in our day and age for small groups to get vocal and force change, fair or based in fact is often not even so much as an issue. Rational thought and intelligent response requires good information. That means I have to rely on those I know to have knowledge and that I trust. Chogon, RAWA, Mac_Fife… are the ones I know that have some information on what is going on. I send Admin my complaints and assume they are handling it. When one decides they are not, one moves on.

What step have we not taken that is possible?
How does one create some better way to handle such issues?
How does one get objective facts?
Nalates
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:01 am

Personally, I find the simplest actions to be the best. But let's look at this.

Because some people commit liable (I assume you mean libel - to spread a statement to unjustly damage someone's reputation) does not mean the target does not deserve a reprimand. In this case, I see dismissal as the only good course of action as veralun's continued moderation threatens to drive away would-be fans and provide bad PR for Cyan (something it cannot afford). This isn't one person's conspiracy theory. This is a long-term, well-documented set of issues that have caused serious harm to the community. It needs to be a business decision because it's a business problem.
As for knowledge, I have not seen that Chogon and RAWA know much of anything about the moderation. To paraphrase Mac, Cyan leaves the moderation to the moderators (a bad business practice in itself, but still). This is why the problem has gone on so long.
This is one of the reasons I didn't want this topic merged because this is not the same thing as a general or fan-based moderation issue, and you don't seem to recognize that (nor does Cyan). We lose if a new person "moves on" because of this. Cyan is a business, whether the fans or Cyan wish to think of it as such or not, and Cyan needs to make a business decision in this case if it doesn't want to run the risk of one of its moderators undermining its former flagship.
People have asked for the moderators to send PMs consistently and they have not. There is no excuse, in my opinion, for that.
The ultimate solution, as I see it, is for Cyan to relax its reactionary policies which initially spawned this toxic environment. The environment that encourages hard-line conservative views and fuels vigilantes eager to "purify" the community.

Now, to turn this around, how would you solve the issue with veralun besides removal?

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by JWPlatt » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:33 am

Please be careful. One reason this thread still lives is because it's probably going to make for good research study as one data point for the project managers who will, presumably, publish this project with recommendations that consider situations. The real point of view here is to use this as an example if not for matters of general policy and - to repeat - NOT a political platform to take action against anyone. There's a bit of hyperbole still, and there are still shades of unnecessarily colorful adjectives. But it's better. Please continue to eliminate hyperbole and degrading words.

We've repeatedly asked how you would solve it, Whilyam, in terms of general policy, not in terms of Veralun specifically. Nalates has asked some good questions, and I've asked a few. I'm not going to review the whole thread, but Mac always has some great points to consider. Everyone should stick to that to make it a solution instead of just a complaint. If that is impossible, there are other forums where gossip and snark is acceptable.

But I'll ask in response to your turnabout: from a user's point of view, or an admin's'? As a user, I'd file a complaint, make any points in a PM discussion with either or both the mod and admin, and live with the admin's decision. Period. There was a time when maybe I wouldn't, but life brings many lessons and maturity when you step into positions of responsibility. As an admin, moderators handle the daily stuff and I would support them even when they make mistakes. If the lead moderator comes to me with a question, it better be something only I can handle. Because if it's a decision they can handle, that's their job and they're not doing their job if they ask about anything less than interpreting vague policy, changing forum policy or site configuration. If there's anything I might use to solve the perception of problems with individual moderators, it would be to consider periodic rotation of personnel through the position of lead moderator so that everyone would get experience and have plenty of "off" time. That would tend to make it clear that decisions and actions come from the moderation team, not a specific moderator.
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